Phillies

On Chase Utley Retirement Night: 26 times he was the Man

On Chase Utley Retirement Night: 26 times he was the Man

When you were one of the hardest working players in the game and you called Citizens Bank Park home for over a decade, Philadelphia is going to love you.

Chase Utley was just that and, boy, did Philadelphia love him.

No. 26 returns to Philly this weekend to be honored on Chase Utley Retirement Night at the ballpark when the Phillies take on the Miami Marlins this evening. It's sure to be an emotional night.

The memories are sure to come pouring back when Utley takes the microphone in front of the Philly faithful.

One of the most vivid memories of his career is of legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas giving Chase his nickname.

The Man.

It stuck. Mostly because it was so true. Chase was The Man. And Philadelphia loves him for it.

Here are 26 times Chase lived up to that nickname and was The Man. In no particular order. A similar version of this post originally appeared on this site in 2016 after Chase was traded to the Dodgers.

1. Utley’s first hit with the Phillies was a grand slam at the Vet. This was long before he became the fan favorite and WFC he is today, but it was an early glimpse that this guy does things a little bit differently.

2. The fakeout-throw-em-out in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. If there’s one play on the field that comes to mind when Phillies fans think of Chase, to me it is this one. Chase was always prepared, always knew the situation, and had the ability to act on his feet.

3. 2008 World Series Game 3 back-to-back home runs with Ryan Howard. Chase did it with more than just his defense when he brought it with his bat in the series that brought Philly that much needed parade.

4. The origin of The Man. Harry and Chase, forever linked. Two of Philadelphia’s sporting treasures.

5. The guy even loved dogs. Of course Chase and his wife Jennifer loved animals and worked tirelessly with the Pennsylvania SPCA and also created the Utley All-Star Animals event.

6. Mac’s letter to Chase. Dear Chase, I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so alike. I'd like to meet you one day, it would be great to have a catch. I know I can't throw as fast as you but I think you'd be impressed with my speed. I love your hair, you run fast. Did you have a good relationship with your father? Me neither. These are all things we can talk about and more. I know you have not been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did. I hope you write back this time, and we can become good friends. I am sure our relationship would be a real home run!”

7. Chase's letter back to Mac.

8. Owning the Mets and Utley’s corner. The best athletes kill their rivals and Utley’s dominance at CitiField helped coin right field in Flushing as Utley’s Corner, a mark of total domination.

9. Tying Reggie Jackson’s World Series home run mark in 2009. The New York Yankees got the better of us in 2009 but you can’t blame Chase. That short, sweet swing produced and put the ball in the seats at a record clip.

10. The hair. Chase had great hair. The ladies loved him.

11. So did the men. Men and women alike loved Chase. It was weird.

12. Roy Halladay praising Chase. “Be like Chase.” Everyone respected the hell out of Chase and his work ethic but when the praise comes from a fellow legend with the work ethic of Roy Halladay, it meant a little bit more.

13. Walkoff walk. Chase loved shrimp as much as the rest of us.

14. Standup inside-the-park home run. There’s nothing quite like an inside-the-parker and when Utley ripped one and hustled around the bases so fast that he didn’t even have to slide at home, that’s one Phillies fans aren’t going to forget.

15. “Boo? F—— you" at the All-Star game in New York. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to give a New York crowd a piece of their mind? Utley simply did it on national television.

16. His rehab chair. Sadly, Chase had to rehab quite a bit. But thankfully he used a chair.

17. 35-game hit streak in 2006. Long before he was a world champion, Chase put together one of the best hitting streaks in Philly history (Jimmy!) good for 11th best in MLB history.

18. Chase resorts to clubhouse voodoo. Chase wasn’t always hitting. So when he hit a slump, he would obviously watch tape on opposing pitchers, but he also wasn’t above resorting to some clubhouse voodoo.

19. Chase and Jimmy. The Utley and Rollins double play duo made countless dives and flips and turns and just generally made playing defense look like more of an art than a game. But it was the double play in 2008 to clinch the NL East crown in a win over the Washington Nationals in the final days of the season that sticks out.

20. San Francisco Giants confrontation, ball flip back to pitcher. The guy rarely showed emotion. So when he did, fans ate it up. Almost better than a walkoff home run.

21. Return from the DL game with a HR. Been gone a while? Come back and bash a home run

22. Dude got hit by A LOT of pitches. Sometimes the bases were loaded in the bottom of the 10th and Utley got hit by a pitch for the walkoff win (video).

23. Diving line drive double play vs the Dodgers in the 2008 NLCS. The Matt Stairs moonshot game. Shane Victorino going deep. Philadelphia's love affair with Jonathan Broxton. All made possible thanks to Chase's DP.

24. Sleeves were optional.

25. Chase Utley, still the Man, just in Los Angeles. Killing (and hurting) the Mets regardless of what team he played for. Six hits in one game. Just because he left Philly, Chase never stopped being the Man.

26. World EFFIN Champion. The most famous public speech in Philadelphia since the reading of the Declaration of Independence. But with more F-bombs. Honestly, if you ask Philly fans their favorite Chase moment, this is the one that comes up the most. Because it was so unexpected, declarative, and joyous.

These ugly Cowboys-looking Phillies hats have Philly fans freaking out

These ugly Cowboys-looking Phillies hats have Philly fans freaking out

Remember back on Phillies opening day 2019 when the team used a logo extremely similar to the Dallas Cowboys' star on the jumbotron and everybody freaked out?

Well, it seems we have a reprise of that situation today but in hat form.

We bring these questionable caps to you today via a reddit post aptly titled, "On no.... please god no..." which shows images of a new Philadelphia Phillies hat made by New Era that is currently being sold.

Philly fans absolutely hate it. Not only does it cloesly resemble the Dallas star, it's also just kind of ugly.

the front:

The hat is part of the New Era Elements Collection where they take something smaller from the team's actual logo and make it the main thing on a hat. The Cincinnati Reds used a mustache which is awesome. The Baltimore Orioles' smily bird looks pretty cool.

And then there's this very bad Phillies hat.

It's pretty obvious they are highlighting the star from the middle of the 'P' which is blown up on the front of the cap and featured relatively normal size on the back of the fitted cap, but it's still way too similar to the Dallas Cowboys' star for most in Philadelphia's liking.

The back:

It's unclear if these hats will ever get anywhere near the actual baseball team. Let's hope not.

Phillies free-agent targets: Josh Donaldson

Phillies free-agent targets: Josh Donaldson

Leading up to baseball’s winter meetings, we will take a daily look at some of the game’s top free agents and how they could potentially impact the Phillies.

Today, we check in on slugging third baseman Josh Donaldson.

The vitals

Donaldson has been one of the game’s premier sluggers the last half-dozen seasons. He’s an above-average defender at third base and an outstanding competitor. He has belted at least 33 homers in four of the last five seasons and led the American League with 123 RBIs in 2015, the year he won the AL MVP for Toronto. He battled injury in 2017 and 2018, signed a one-year, $23 million contract with Atlanta a year ago and went on to prove himself healthy by finishing 11th in the National League MVP voting in 2019. He played 155 games for the Braves and hit .259 with 37 homers, 94 RBIs and a .900 OPS.

Why he fits

At a position loaded with sluggers, Donaldson is still one of the best and the Phillies have a big need. Phillies third basemen ranked 24th in OPS (.725) and batting average (.243) and 22nd in homers (23) among big-league clubs in 2019. Donaldson’s fiery style of play would quickly win him fans in Philadelphia.

Why he doesn’t fit

The injury history, coupled with his age — he turns 34 in December — would be a concern on the long-term deal he is seeking, especially when the Phillies have a young third base prospect, Alec Bohm, scheduled to play at Triple A in 2020. Donaldson is one of three big third basemen on the free-agent market with Anthony Rendon and Mike Moustakas. The Phillies have already shown an interest in Moustakas, whose price tag could still allow the team to pump significant resources into pitching.

The price tag

Donaldson jumped quickly at a one-year deal last year. That won’t happen this year. He is said to be looking for at least three years and you have to figure the average annual value will be in the neighborhood of $25 million. If Donaldson keeps producing like he did in 2019, he’d be worth it.

Scout’s take

“He loves to play. And when he’s healthy, he’s a major difference maker. There’s value in that power. The concern for me would be that it’s a long season and he could fit more in the American League because of the DH.”

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